West Ham on brink of signing two players, says Bilic


LONDON: West Ham United are on the verge of bringing in two new players to bolster their Premier League campaign, manager Slaven Bilic said on Sunday after they officially opened their new stadium with a 3-2 friendly defeat by Juventus.

“We are quite close to getting two new players,” said the Croatian. “I hoped it would be yesterday and they would play a part today but the paperwork was not done. It’s only a matter of paperwork and then we will have two new players at West Ham.”

British media reported that the pair are Swansea City’s Ghana forward Andre Ayew, 26, for a fee of about 20 million pounds and Olympiakos Piraeus’s 22-year-old French left back Arthur Masuaku for one million pounds.

West Ham have been looking for a striker with Senegalese international Diafra Sakho having handed in a transfer request, while they need cover at left back after Aaron Cresswell was last month ruled out for up to four months with a knee injury.

West Ham played their first match at the refurbished Olympic stadium on Thursday when they beat Slovenian side NK Domzale 3-0 in the Europa League playoff round but Sunday’s match against the Italian champions was the ground’s official opening.

Simone Zaza scored a late winner for Juve, who introduced Gonzalo Higuain for his debut in the second half after the Argentine’s 90 million euros (£76.2 million) move from Napoli – the third highest transfer fee ever paid for a player.